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RCU   Peace Shield
Remote Control Unit

This small Remote Control Unit (RCU) was developed and made by ITT in New Jersey (USA) around 1988. It was part of a range of secure voice and data systems that were delivered to Saudi Arabia (SA) for the country's integrated C3I 1 Peace Shield 2 defense radar and communications system. The device is also known as GL-7171 and by its National Stock Number NSN 5895-01-331-0695. Apart from ITT Industries Inc., the Remote Control Unit was also manufactured by Exelis Inc. [1]

The Peace Shield program was carried out by the Boeing Industrial Technology Group (BITG), with Westinghouse and ITT as subcontractors. For this system, ITT supplied a range of secure voice and data solutions, that were used in airborne applications, such as in AWACS 3 , but also for mobile, ground and underground stations.

The image on the right shows a small Remote Control Unit (RCU) that was developed by ITT especially for the Peace Shield system. It's front panel has a small LCD display, 6 push-buttons and a receptacle for a Crypto Ignition Key (CIK).
Crypto Remote Control Unit (RCU)

The system was connected to the actual crypto device via a 15-pin male sub-D connector at the rear. The white and red push-buttons at the left allows to user to select between clear and secure speech (or data). A standard DataKey KSD-64 Key Storage Device is used as the CIK. In this case the CIK is used for encryption of the encryption keys that are stored inside the main crypto unit.

The advantage of using a CIK is that it can be removed easily when the crypto clerk leaves his desk, or when security is compromised. Once paired with a crypto device, the CIK can not be used on another terminal. The device shown here was manufactured around 1988 and was probably used in an airborne environment or an underground command shelter, probably with a KY-100. In total, Peace Shield consisted of 164 sites with more then 1600 communication circuits [2].

  1. C3I = Command, Control Communications and Intelligence.
  2. Peace Shield I was installed in 1984. Peace Shield II was installed in 1991.
  3. AWACS = Airborne Warning and Control System.  Wikipedia

Crypto Remote Control Unit (RCU)
RCU - with KSD-64 CIK installed
LCD display
KSD-64 placed in receptacle and activated
Enabling encryption
15-pin male sub-D connector at the rear
All controls of the RCU are at the front panel, which was probably mounted in some kind of desk or was part of a larger control panel. User I/O is via the small LCD panel at the top, and the four white buttons at the right. Acoustic feedback is provided via the three large holes at the bottom right, behind which a buzzer is mounted. The user inserts the KSD-64 key into the receptacle at the bottom left and turns it 90° clockwise. The internal microprocessor will then read its data. The two buttons (red and white) at the left are then used to select the desired mode of operation.

The RCU has no connections other than the 15-way male D-type connector at the rear, through which it is connected to the main crypto unit. Voice and/or data input and output are not present on the RCU. Any audio devices are connected directly to the main cipher unit. Any cryptographic keys were loaded directly into the main crypto unit by means of a Key Fill Device like the KYK-13.

Crypto Ignition Key   CIK
The keys inside the main crypto device were protected by means of a so-called Crypto Ignition Key (CIK) that can be inserted either in the main crypto device, or in the Remote Control Unit (RCU). Once the CIK is installed and activated, the main crypto device can be used as intended.

When new cryptographic keys are loaded into the crypto device, they are protected by a long randomly generated Key Encryption Key (KEK) that is stored on the CIK. As a result, the CIK can only be used on a paired device and vice versa.

The image on the right shows the KSD-64 Key Storage Device, that was used with the main crypto device and with the RCU. It holds a small parallel EEPROM 1 and is fully ruggedized. The same KSD-64 was also used on the NSA's third generation Secure Telephone Equipment STU-III and (optionally) with the KY-100 voice terminal.
PK-64KC Key Storage Device

In practice, the KSD-64 was not only used to hold the KEK, but for other key types as well. It was sometimes used to hold the actual keys, in which case it became a Key Transfer Device (KTD), or Fill Key (FK). It could also be used as a Master Key (MK) or an Activation Key (AK). The function of the physical key was commonly identified by the colour of the plastic tag that was chained to it.

 More about the KSD-64

  1. EEPROM = Electrically Erasable Programmable Read Only Memory.

The RCU is housed in a metal enclosure that measure roughly 15 x 12 x 5 cm. The front panel is placed inside a mounting frame that is 17.5 x 7.5 cm. The interior can be accessed by removing two recessed screws from the long sides of the front panel, and sliding off the metal case shell.

The image on the right shows the interior of the RCU after the outer case shell has been removed. At the center is a metal frame that is bolted to the front panel. At either side of this metal frame is a multi-layer Printed Circuit Board (PCB).

The board that is visible in the image holds the interface and power circuits. The big rectangular block at the centre is a DC/DC converter. The large black unit at the far right is the KSD-64 receptacle. At the top left is the display which is made by ITT and is housed in a TEMPEST proof enclosure, milled-out of an aluminium block.

The other PCB is the processor board that holds the 8-bit Hitachi HD63B03RP processor, an 8 kB EPROM, some RAM and other peripherals, running at a clock speed of ~2 MHz. The processor is used for communication with the user, via the LCD screen and the front panel buttons, and also for communication with the main crypto device, via the 15-way D-type connector at the rear.

Case shell removed
Interior - bottom view
Processor board
Processor board - bottom view
Processor and EPROM
Interface board
Interface board - bottom view
Crystal oscillator
Connector and power converter
Frame - rear view
LCD display in TEMPEST enclosure
DataKey receptacle
  1. NSN Center, 5895-01-331-0695 - Control Monitor
    Retrieved November 2016.

  2., Saudi Arabia - Peace Shield
    Website. Retrieved November 2016.

  3. Pakistan Defence, Saudi Arabia - Peace Shield
    Website. Retrieved November 2016.

  4. Lockheed Martin, Developing a Methodology for identifying...
    MIT, various authors. 14 May 2105. pp. 15-22.

  5. Dr. M.A. Ramady, Components of Technology Transfer ... Saudi Arabia
    Date unknown but probably 2004.
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Crypto Museum. Created: Tuesday 15 November 2016. Last changed: Saturday, 24 February 2018 - 11:56 CET.
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